Horrorcore rappers Insane Clown Posse have brought a lawsuit against the FBI - and it is actually legit.
So here's the story. As you probably know, ICP's loyal fans call themselves Juggalos. They consider themselves a family, complete with an annual festival, and frequently paint their faces with evil clown makeup. They may look weird or scary, but as a rule, they are no more violent than any other group of teens and young adults. Try telling that to the FBI, who, in 2011, included the Juggalos in their National Gang Threat Assessment: Emerging Trends report. Their reasoning is thin, citing only two cases in which violent felonies were attributed to "suspected" Juggalos. The report goes on to say "Most crimes committed by Juggalos are sporadic, disorganized, individualistic, and often involve simple assault, personal drug use and possession, petty theft, and vandalism." In other words, a typical day at virtually any public school in the country. I have to assume that the Juggalos's fierce warpaint and the music they choose to listen to make them a target (in much the same way Marilyn Manson's music and fans were villified after the Columbine shootings.)
One of the problems with being legally classified as a gang is that, in many states, if you are found to be affiliated with a gang, any crime can carry sentence enhancements. In addition, it tends to put members of gangs under higher law enforcement scrutiny and observation. ICP was not happy with this, so they filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act, in order to get any reports or evidence that the FBI used to conclude that Juggalos were a violent emerging gang.
ICP and their legal team gave the government one month to respond to the request. When a response did not come, ICP and their legal team filed court papers in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan "for its failure to produce any documentary evidence in support of the FBI's classification of the groups' fan base." The attorneys believe that this mistaken belief on the part of the FBI have "violated the rights of the Juggalos."
Are you a Juggalo? Have you faced discrimination because of it? The ICP's legal team has launched JuggalosFightBack.com, a website on which Juggalos can report instances where they believe their rights have been violated because they are a Juggalo (or a Juggalette), or are suspected of being one. The legal team are hoping to gather enough evidence to expand their lawsuit.